Eildon Hill

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Eildon Hill

Eildon Hill

Eildon Hill


Elevation: 422 m (1,385 ft)

Prominence: c. 164 m

Listing: Marilyn

Translation: possibly "Elves Hill" (Old English)

Location: Scottish Borders, Scotland


Eildon Hill lies just south of Melrose, Scotland, in the Scottish Borders, overlooking the town. The name is usually pluralised into "the Eildons" or "Eildon Hills", because of its triple peak.

The north hilltop (of three peaks) is surrounded by over 5 km (3.1 mi) of ramparts, enclosing an area of about 16 ha (40 acres) in which at least 300 level platforms have been cut into the rock to provide bases for turf or timber-walled houses.

The mid hilltop is the highest and has a monument to Sir Walter Scott on it. The south hilltop is the lowest. The Eildon hills are surrounded by a large area of woodlands these are home to wildlife such as roe deer, badgers, stoats and red foxes. In winter and early spring the Eildon hills are often covered in snow however snow lasts longer on the higher slopes of the neighbouring Southern Uplands.

History

Excavations have found evidence that the hill fort was occupied by 1000 BC, in the Bronze age.The ramparts seem to have been built and rebuilt in three phases.At its peak the population of the hill could have been 3000 to 6000, the largest known in Scotland from this period. It was once widely believed that this Trimontium might be the Trimontium of the Selgovae that had been mentioned by the Greco-Roman geographer Ptolemy<ref>http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/55668/details/eildon+hill+north/</ref>, but the source of the information was later discredited.

In the 1st century the Roman army built the massive fort of Trimontium, named after the three peaks, at the foot of the hill on the bank of the River Tweed.<ref>http://www.trimontium.org.uk/wb (accessed 25th July 2014)</ref>In association with it they constructed a signal tower with a tiled roof in an 11 m (36 ft) diameter enclosure built on the summit of the hill fort, which presumably had been abandoned.<ref>http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/roxburghshire/ancient-sites/eildon-hill.html (accessed 25th June 2014)</ref>However, finds including Roman coins and pottery have suggested that some of the house platforms were again in use in the 2nd to 4th century.<ref>http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/roxburghshire/ancient-sites/eildon-hill.html (accessed 25th June 2014)</ref><ref>http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/55668/details/eildon+hill+north/</ref>

The Roman fort of Trimontium was one of the most important in Scotland due to its strategic position. <ref>http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/roxburghshire/ancient-sites/eildon-hill.html (accessed 25th June 2014)</ref> That Eildon Hill was also the site of one of Scotland's largest Hillforts emphasises its importance over a long period of time. <ref>http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/scotland/roxburghshire/ancient-sites/eildon-hill.html (accessed 25th June 2014)</ref>

Folklore

Eildon is said to be a "hollow hill", and is mentioned in the legend of Thomas the Rhymer.


References

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